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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Playable Golem Race (Soul Golem) (PEACH)



greel
2016-11-24, 08:15 PM
Hi,

this is my first attempt at a homebrew race. The idea started with wanting to play a large race, but circumventing the problems that arise from large creature bonuses. The result is (I think) a blend of monster, Ebberon Warforged and a few golems from the dandwiki. Being new to DnD I want to present you a first draft. I'm hoping that your experience will quickly show me how overpowered this turned out :smallbiggrin: I tried to use jwbjerks "Detect Balance" guide to keep balance somewhat in check.

I'd love to hear from you what i should change, add or remove to make this race more balanced.

If you decide to use this race, please let me know I'd love to hear how it turns out!
Thanks!

EDIT: I've updated the race with some feedback! :smallsmile:

Soul Golem
Soul Golems are an amalgamation of stone, spirit and necromancy. Powered by arcane runes, their bodies act as vessels for the souls of the departed. Binding a full soul to inanimate matter through necromancy requires a large vessel. Soul golems have a towering physique and hulking proportions to meet those requirements.
Whether by the ill will of a crazed mage, accident or by choice, the soul bound to the Golem loses its memories and personality, although given many years, shattered pieces of memory may return.
Golems are usually loners, shunned and labeled by society as mere automatons with no will of their own. Their stone body, echoing voice and unmoving faces are unsettling to most folk.
Some Golems seek to make the most of their second lives by setting out on adventures. Forging their own legacy, finding their place in the wold or creating an identity of their own. Others seek clues about their past lives and memories.


Traits
Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score and Constitution score increase by 2.

Age: Golems do not age, but their starting age is defined by the time the soul was transferred. Their lifespan is limited only by the deterioration of their physical forms.

Alignment: Any.

Size: 12-16ft. 1600-2000Lbs. Your size is Large. (10x10ft size, 10ft reach, you can grapple huge creatures, 2x carrying capacity) You do not gain doubled damage dice due to your size.

Gender: Soul Golems are physically sexless, but can retain the gender of their previous self.

Speed: Your base walking speed is 25 feet. Your jump distance and height are halved.

Names: Some Golems seek gender neutral names like Thunderstone, Rockbreaker or Swiftriver. Others are content with nicknames given to them by the people around them. A few Golems might even remember their own names, while others take on a new name of their own.

Living Construct: You are a living construct that doesnít need to eat, drink, breathe or sleep. You can not gain benefits from eating, food or drinking potions. You will never become exhausted due to starvation or thirst, nor can you take damage from suffocation. While resting you must perform maintenance on yourself following the regular resting rules. While repairing yourself, you are aware of your surroundings but have disadvantage on all Perception checks.
You are immune to disease and have advantage on saving throws vs Poison.
You canít be stabilized when dying with a Medicine check or spare the dying. Instead, a successful DC 10 Intelligence check or a mending cantrip is needed.

Stone faced: Your unnatural face is unsettling to people. You have disadvantage on Persuasion checks when speaking with non-monster races.

Construct Vulnerabilities: Because of the necromantic energies binding you to your vessel you are vulnerable to radiant damage.

Heavy Body: You may only wear armor specifically constructed for Golems.
You always suffer disadvantage on Stealth checks because of your heavy body.

Strength of Stone: You have advantage on Strength checks made to push, pull, lift, or break objects or people, but only when you're large.

Shed/Accumulate: You can spend 10 minutes, 3/day, to change in and out of a medium sized dwarf Golem (7 - 8ft) form by shedding or accumulating mass from surrounding stone, dust and debris (Shrinking and growning again is considered one use per day). While in dwarf state you may disguise yourself and wear robes and other loose fitting garments. In your dwarf form you count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity. You lose advantage on strength checks made to push, pull, lift, or break objects or people and your racial bonuses to strength and constitution are halved.

Toughness: Due to your massive build your hit point maximum increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a level.

Languages: You can speak, read and write Common and the language of your original race, if you remember it.

CunningKindred
2016-11-25, 01:11 PM
There are some nice ideas here but I think my initial reaction is that the race is too focused. Its far too good for some types of build but arbitrarily limited in others. I would advice you to restrict the race's extremely good abilities a little and tone down some of the restrictions so that a player with a different vision of Golems will have more freedom to realise their own take on the race.

greel
2016-11-25, 03:49 PM
Thanks for your feedback.
Yes this is more of the warrior subrace. I'll work others when I'm satisfied with the general challenges this race has.

Do you think the stat bonuses are still too much even with the negative stats and traits? I honestly can't really tell which ones are overpowered.
I went for the big stat boost because i think they would be physically stronger than a race of flesh and bone could be.
What's your opinion on shrink?

CunningKindred
2016-11-25, 07:07 PM
There are examples in the game of stat bonuses this big but they are a massive exception. Generally, I would stick to the usual +2 and +1 bonuses and avoid negatives if at all possible. In this case, you said the minds of these creatures come from other sources and are moved into the bodies so I immediately thought the negative charisma modifier strange since the mind of the creature would presumable not be much altered in the process.

With size and strength as you wish to represent here I would suggest other traits could best represent their might. They have a lot of traits that all derive from this characteristic. I would limit the race to one or two strong thematic traits that clearly show off their size and might but without stacking up bonuses too much.

If you would like some detailed feedback:

If they had


Ability Score Increase. Your strength and constitution are both increased by 2

This would still make them one of the most intimidating physical races in the game.

Age, Size and Speed all seem fine. I'm not at all sure why their alignment should shift toward neutral.


Living Construct just seems overly complicated and frankly annoying to roleplay. I would probably strip out most of the limitations about healing completely and tone down the advantages a little bit.

I have no idea why a construct would be vulnerable to psychic or radiant damage. You don't seem to really explain this in the fluff and it seems really harsh.

Powerful build seems thematic but you might want to restrict the strength advantage thing a little. At the moment it applies to all athletics checks and that could be horribly abused.

I can't really say how I feel about the natural armour bit. On first reading it seems very powerful but it might be fine as the stand out exceptional quality of this race.

I'm not keen on Tough but only because its kind of boring and a lot like the feat. If you could think of a way that was more interesting to represent this then that could be cool.

Easy Target makes no sense given what you are doing with their armour. Powerful build already covers this thematically and this is just an extra piece of complication.

I'm afraid that I really do not like the last two traits.

Huge Fists. Too limiting in forcing one vision of the race on the player and it steals the thunder from the monk. They do more damage due to their strength already but not all of them will know how to make this work for them. A fighter or monk golem will have the necessary training but most won't. This sort of thing really is the province of classes and training.

Shrink. And now you can ignore everything about playing a Golem because they can just wish it away. In most games this should be limited to wizard and sorcerer Golems who learn to use magic to disguise their nature. If it really is something a lot of the race (for setting reasons) learn to do then maybe make it a feat but as a general racial trait it just seems to undermine everything about them that's interesting and fun.

Just my opinion. It can be difficult to appreciate the vision you have for the race beyond the stats and so the traits might make perfect sense to you and be weird or seem odd to me (because I'm not seeing the stats in the same context).

greel
2016-11-27, 07:36 PM
You make a lot of good points!


Powerful build seems thematic but you might want to restrict the strength advantage thing a little. At the moment it applies to all athletics checks and that could be horribly abused.
How do you think this can be abused? The only thing that comes to my mind is grappling. With toned down +Str, do you think this would be ok?



I'm not keen on Tough but only because its kind of boring and a lot like the feat. If you could think of a way that was more interesting to represent this then that could be cool.
It's just the hill dwarf racial trait and I tought it would fit. It could also be +1 AC instead (if Natural Armor was removed). Maybe use the Goliath's Stones Endurance, but that seems kind of weak at later levels.


Huge Fists. Too limiting in forcing one vision of the race on the player and it steals the thunder from the monk. They do more damage due to their strength already but not all of them will know how to make this work for them. A fighter or monk golem will have the necessary training but most won't. This sort of thing really is the province of classes and training.
You are 100% correct. My problem is that with large size (which I would prefer over weird medium) come oversized weapons and doubled damage die. I'm in need of restricting the weapon choices to medium, but I cant think of a reasony as to why :smallbiggrin: Thats why I introduced enchantable fists.


Shrink. And now you can ignore everything about playing a Golem because they can just wish it away. In most games this should be limited to wizard and sorcerer Golems who learn to use magic to disguise their nature. If it really is something a lot of the race (for setting reasons) learn to do then maybe make it a feat but as a general racial trait it just seems to undermine everything about them that's interesting and fun.
I don't want a large pc to be too much of a pain for the DM. Accomodating for a large creature could be quite the struggle, as you would have to have larger locations so the golem could fit in (bigger dungeons, no dwarven mine shafts). Also I dont want to bore players with "you can't enter because of size" (can't fit a 2x1 door). I think if this ability stays it should be a lot more of a debuff, or take longer than an action.


Just my opinion. It can be difficult to appreciate the vision you have for the race beyond the stats and so the traits might make perfect sense to you and be weird or seem odd to me (because I'm not seeing the stats in the same context).
I'd like the race to be towering, somewhat uncharismatic, hulks of great strength, somewhat stoic and distant with a mysterious past. I guess I'm not too good at writing fluff :smallsmile: so thanks for all the good feedback.

greel
2016-12-01, 04:26 PM
I've updated the race with feedback, ideas, and suggestions.

CunningKindred
2016-12-02, 06:59 AM
Yes. This is much better. I have a far stronger vision of the race you have in mind. I'm not sure completely about all the balance issues but I think you've definitely dealt with all the obvious issues. I especially like Shed/Accumulate: you've taken a racial ability I read as boring and at odds thematically with the race and turned it into something which does the complete opposite. Its amazing what a little fluff text can do.

They seem like they could be quite a lot of fun to play. I'm sure there will be issues with the size and other factors which will come up during a play test that might need some work. There is so little information on using large races in the game as yet to think of everything but I think this is definitely worth bringing to the table for a play through to see how it goes.

The only point I did notice was the stuff about diplomacy checks. I don't think that's quite right in terms of how you should word it since the diplomacy skill is not really a thing in 5E. Perhaps someone else on the forum would be able to come up with a better way to word your intent. Again, though, the idea of their plain, immobile features being the cause of their reduced social capabilities is a good one. A sort of uncanny valley notion. They still have the same personality they always did but it doesn't show.

greel
2016-12-02, 11:05 AM
Yes. This is much better. I have a far stronger vision of the race you have in mind. I'm not sure completely about all the balance issues but I think you've definitely dealt with all the obvious issues. I especially like Shed/Accumulate: you've taken a racial ability I read as boring and at odds thematically with the race and turned it into something which does the complete opposite. Its amazing what a little fluff text can do.
Yes i think the "cast time" does help.


The only point I did notice was the stuff about diplomacy checks. I don't think that's quite right in terms of how you should word it since the diplomacy skill is not really a thing in 5E. Perhaps someone else on the forum would be able to come up with a better way to word your intent. Again, though, the idea of their plain, immobile features being the cause of their reduced social capabilities is a good one. A sort of uncanny valley notion. They still have the same personality they always did but it doesn't show.
Woops. I meant Persuasion checks. I do also play Pathfinder where it's called Diplomacy :smallsmile:

Steel Mirror
2016-12-03, 08:21 PM
I've always liked playable construct type races! I attribute it to watching Fullmetal Alchemist at a formative age.

When comparing them to dwarves, with whom they have much in common mechanically, these guys end up with quite a bit more in the way of advantages, but a few serious disadvantages to keep things kosher. Balancing out bonuses with drawbacks isn't a design philosophy used very much in 5E races (at least the ones I have access to, I mostly just use the PHB), but I think overall it looks pretty good and probably shouldn't be too problematic in play.

I really like the way you handled Shed/Accumulate, but I think it's a bit too punishing when they are in the dwarf golem state. I'd say let them keep their full racial ability modifiers, but also lose the Heavy Body racial trait when they are smaller entirely. That also minimizes the math your players need to do/remember when they switch back and forth, which is good in itself.

Since the Toughness feature is identical to the Dwarven Toughness feature that Hill Dwarves have, I would vote to change it to something that has a similar intention but different mechanics, just for flavor purposes. What if you increased the hit dice that golems have by 1 step?

Finally, this is more of a pedantic thing, but you say "You do not gain doubled damage dice due to your size." under the Speed part of the race entry. I imagine that was supposed to be in the "size" area. :smallsmile:

Looks cool though, thanks for sharing it!

greel
2016-12-04, 03:09 PM
Since the Toughness feature is identical to the Dwarven Toughness feature that Hill Dwarves have, I would vote to change it to something that has a similar intention but different mechanics, just for flavor purposes. What if you increased the hit dice that golems have by 1 step?
Hit dice would work but what if a player wants to play a barbarian? Wouldn't they get a d14 hitdice? Or do you mean they get their level + 1 in hit dice?
If it's hitdice to spend during a rest then I think that would be too weak since large creatures can get swarmed more easily (10x10ft space).

It would have to be something that is beneficial during combat. I've also thought about adding +1 AC, but that could be too strong.
CunningKindred suggested the Goliath's Stones Endurance ability, but I still think it is a little too weak in the long run.

Do you have any other ideas that would communicate additional hardiness?

JNAProductions
2016-12-05, 08:28 PM
You know, I was on the fence about this thing initially. Large might prove problematic, but overall, this race feels balanced-perhaps even a wee bit weak.

greel
2016-12-06, 04:58 AM
You know, I was on the fence about this thing initially. Large might prove problematic, but overall, this race feels balanced-perhaps even a wee bit weak.
Thanks! Glad you like it. What makes you think its a bit weak? I'm fine with that, I'd just like to know :)

JNAProductions
2016-12-06, 11:03 AM
ASIs are strong.

Large size, since it does NOT come with improved reach, is sorta a wash. Better grappler, worse at small spaces.

Speed is slow.

Living Construct is a nice bonus.

Stone Faced is an outright penalty.

Construct Vulnerability is an outright penalty.

Heavy Body is an outright penalty.

Shed/Accumulate negates some penalties, but also halves your ASIs.

Toughness is a nice bonus.

Compared to a Hill Dorf, though, you don't have nearly as much going for you.